Four years ago today, I wrote what would become the first in a LONG series of daily haiku posts. A little while back I invited friends to join me in my celebration today, and several kind friends did just that. Starting with Junie, the beloved duck-tolling retriever whose photo illustrated my "Wanna Play?" post:
Biscuit for Junie!
HERE IT COMES HERE IT COMES – CRUNCH
Is there another?
My friend @rwentecheney chimed in with some good luck wishes, haiku-style:
Tomorrow's the day
Sleep before the fun!
My friend Barbara, who does not typically write haiku, contributed the following two #haiku: Small rooms with beige walls Grim news delivered with smiles Tears in the rest room
Treoidation then Now encouraged by the news Thank all for your prayers While my friend Cate added this one: darkened garden — the stillness of trees sleeping under new snow My friend Marianne Paul used this haiku of mine as a jumping off point: first light —
the haiku I wrote
better in my dream And wrote a new one of her own in response: evaporation —how quickly the haiku
leaves me My friend @SassafrasMama sent me warm #haikuversary wishes, while my friend @maggros asked me to write a haiku using the word "plight." So I did: the haijin's plight
seedpods in winter My friend Paul David Mena used an image of mine as a jumping off point:
summer breeze —
what we whispered
among the sand dunes
And finally, there were a few friends who offered up dates that were special to them, for whom I usually pulled a haiku from that date up from the archives. Although in Val Brown's case, I wrote a new haiku, thinking about her and her sweetie, who were celebrating a different kind of anniversary:
birds gifting their songs
with no notion of return —
my smile in your eyes
This one, from the archives, was for @MamaJoules:
November dusk —
our candles seeming brighter
by the minute
My friend @mapographer requested a haiku with a 12/25 date stamp, so I pulled this one (from all the way back in 2008!):
snow, then rain –
the geese arguing loudly
And finally, at day's end, @sacarlavoz requested a re-posting of this one:
bright yellow goldfinch
swooping across our morning —
(I had a really great #haikuversary.) (Can you tell?)
About "First Day School":
Quakers were at one time known for their adherence to a testimony involving plainness of speech. This kind of speech, which included omitting honorific addresses in favor of forms of address that stressed the equality of all persons, was part of Quakers' witness of the importance of simplicity. Similarly, Quakers in those earlier times would sometimes refer to the days of the week in plain speech, which led to Sundays being called "first day," Mondays "second day," etc. etc. Most of these customs have faded out as Quakers are no longer quite as intent on separating themselves through speech choices in order to accentuate their differences. There are still some echoes of those early customs in our present-day experiences, though. Religious education classes for members and attenders of a Quaker meeting are sometimes still termed "First Day School" (rather than Sunday School); indeed, this is the case at Princeton Monthly Meeting, which is my home meeting and the site of today's haiku.
About the sound a porcupine makes:
When I was growing up, there was a day when my mother looked out the living room window and saw that there was a cat stuck up near the top of our crabapple tree. Except that when she sent my father out to investigate, he discovered that it was a porcupine! We called the local animal rescue crew, who said that the porcupine had probably wandered down from the undeveloped woods at the top of our neighborhood. They brought protective gloves and carefully took the porcupine down out of the tree. Of course my sister and I stood as close as they would let us, which meant that we got to hear the porcupine as they wrapped it up in a blanket before returning it to the forest. The best description I've come up with is that the porcupine sounded like a tiny little old man who had assigned himself the task of counting to 100, but who had forgotten what comes after 99. So, something like... "ninety-nine... ninety-nine?.... ninety-nine..."
In First Day School at Princeton Friends Meeting this week we were singing a song that had animal sounds in it, so I got to tell the kids this story.